Students sickened with E. coli O157:H7 after playing in farm's mud pit at party
Posted: May 24th, 2011 - 10:30pm by Doug Powell
In June 1997, at least seven persons who attended the Glastonbury Music Festival in the U.K. were infected with Escherichia coli O157. A cow belonging to a herd that had previously grazed the site tested positive for the same strain, leading researchers to conclude the most likely vehicle of infection was mud contaminated with Escherichia coli O157 from infected cattle.
In June 2007, hundreds were stricken and 18 tested positive for campylobacter during the annual Test of Metal mountain bike race in Squamish, B.C. Dr. Paul Martiquet, the chief medical officer for Vancouver Coastal Health, said, "This was an outbreak with a high attack rate. Our future advice to the race organizers is to inspect the route prior to the race to ensure it is not littered with animal feces, and not end the race at the horse ring. If there is any horse poop, they have to remove it."
Up to 160 people who attended the Merida Bikes mountain bike Marathon July 5-6, 2008, based on Builth Wells, in Wales, fell ill, and 10 of the riders tested positive for campylobacter. The report described the course as, “very muddy and contaminated with sheep slurry in certain areas, leading to significant amounts of mud splashing over participants and their equipment. … The most statistically significant risk was the inadvertent ingestion of mud.
Today, the News Star reports three Ouachita Christian School students in Louisiana were admitted to local hospitals late last week with E. coli O157:H7 after attending an end-of-the-year party at a farm and playing in a mud pit.
Dr. Shelley Jones, Region 8 director of the Department of Health and Hospitals, said Tuesday, “The most important thing people can do is properly wash their hands. Parents of other students at the party need to make sure they and their children wash their hands thoroughly.”
Or not party in mud pits on farms.